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The Intuitive Customer - Helping You Improve Your Customer Experience To Gain Growth

Nov 18, 2023

Regret is a powerful emotion. One might not think it has a place in a marketer’s messaging toolbox. However, you might be surprised to learn that in addition to being a powerful emotion, it can also be a powerful tool.

The reason we regret things depends on the situation. We can regret a purchase we made. We can regret a purchase we didn’t, too. What we regret and how we respond to it requires understanding how regret happens. 

Inside each of our minds, we have three selves. There is the Actual Self, the one we are despite any notions we might have. There is also the Ought Self. This self is the one with obligations and responsibilities. Then, there is the Ideal Self, which is who we want to be. Regret is often a conflict between the Actual Self and one of the other two. 

What we regret and who we blame has a lot to do with comparisons between these selves internally. Also, these comparisons might differ depending upon the customer segment to which the individual belongs. Therefore, to use regret as a marketing tool, it is essential to understand what comparison your customers are making and to what standard or value they hold.  

In this episode, we explain the psychology of regret, how it drives our future behavior, and what to do about it if it happens to your customers after buying your product or service. We also discuss how you can use it to create improved experiences with no regrets for your customers. 

Here are some other key moments in the discussion:

  • 01:49  Colin explains how he was once a Sony Superfan and how it led to one of the purchases he regrets nearly every day. 
  • 03:49   Ryan explains how Colin’s perception of self plays a role in his purchase regret regarding the television by explaining the different selves we each have.
  • 10:23  We get into the idea that how much regret we feel has a lot to do with how much control we think we had regarding the decisions made.      
  • 14:53  We discuss the impact of regret in customer experience settings and start a discussion about how an organization could respond.
  • 19:04  Ryan explains that people regret different things in the short term vs. the long term. 
  • 25:46  We both share our final thoughts on the key takeaways a marketer should have about how to leverage regret in their messaging.


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